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About Kina8at and OUR team



The word Kina8at (pronounced "Kinawat") means "together" in the Algonquin language. This word sums up the mission of our non-profit organization:

  • Allow cultural reconnection among First Nations

  • Foster the sharing of Indigenous cultures with everyone

  • In the spirit of Reconciliation and with respect for Mother Earth

Feu sacré de Kina8at avec Chomis chef anicinabe algonquin


Équipe heureuse et riant aux éclats de Kina8at
Chomis et Marie-Josée fondateurs de Kina8at en hiver


Our board of directors is made up of 7 director members, more than half of whom are Aboriginal. In order to equip ourselves with a structure in line with tradition, we have also created an elder role within the board. The eldest is not entitled to vote. He / she simply acts as a resource person, culturally and spiritually.


  • Chairman: Dominique (T8aminik) Rankin

  • Vice-President: Serge Aubin

  • Secretary: Nathalie Lessard

  • Treasurer: Mathieu Desjardins

  • Administrator: Anne-Marie Lyrette

  • Administrator: Johnny Wilde

  • Administrator: Audrey Girard

  • Elder: Marie-Josée Tardif

Assemblée générale annuelle 2020 en visioconférence, pandémie oblige...
T8aminik (Dominique) Rankin chef Anicinabe Algonquin et co-fondateur de Kina8at

T8aminik (Dominica) Rankin, CM, CQ


Grandfather T8aminik (this is how Dominique is written in Algonquin) was born on James Bay Territory (north-west of Quebec), in a family that had succeeded in preserving their ancestors nomadic way of life. At the age of 7, T8aminik was designated to take over from his father as hereditary chief.

Traditionally, the role of a leader must necessarily be accompanied by that of a medicine man. Therefore, since childhood, he followed a long path of teachings and initiations from elders from his own community, and from various guides recognized over Canada, including William Commanda, to whom he was closest student for years. In 2006, Grandfather T8aminik became fully recognized elder by his peers. His true birth name is Kapiteotak (which means "Whose crying is heard from afar"), and he now dedicates himself to the role to which he has been chosen: teacher and spiritual leader. 

Survivor of the terrible era of the Indian Residential Schools, he gives a vibrant testimony about forgiveness and reconciliation in the book They called us Savages, written by former journalist Marie-Josée Tardif and published by Vidacom.

Member of the Order of Canada, Knight of the Ordre National du Québec, he is also recipient of the medals of the Lieutenant-Gouverneur du Quebec, the National Assembly and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medals. T8aminik is recognized for his commitment to raise awareness of Native culture and philosophy, both in Canada and around the world.

After being grand chief of the Algonquin Nation, he co-founded the Kina8at organization with Marie-Josée Tardif, and more recently the Dominique Rankin Foundation. He sits on various national and international boards and committees, including the Religions for Peace World Council and the Ethics in Action committee created by the Vatican.

Marie-Josée Tardif co-fondatrice de Kina8at

Marie-Josee Tardif


For the first 15 years of her professional life, Marie-Josée was known as a journalist and news anchor in major TV and radio channels in Quebec (Radio-Canada, RDI, LCN, Radio Rock Détente), but also in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Great-Britain. Since 2005, she focused her entire work on issues related to self-awareness and interpersonal communication.


In 2007, her life took a complete turn when the Algonquin elders offered her a Sacred Pipe. (She will receive a second one in 2015). This is a great mark of respect and recognition, involving however a long journey of learning the language, philosophy and traditional medicine of this thousand-year-old people. That is why Marie-Josée teaches and travels regularly with Grandfather T8aminik as his female counterpart.


In 2013, she co-founded Kina8at with Elder T8aminik. Like T8aminik, she is also a counselor and trainer at the Canadian School of Public Service and a consultant and lecturer at Notre-Dame University (Indiana, USA). She sits on various national and international committees, including the Religions for Peace Women of Faith Network council and the Ethics in Action committee set up by the Vatican.


Marie-Josée is the author of They Calles Us Savages (Vidacom, 2020. In French: On nous appelait les Sauvages) and La Leçon de Sitar ou l'Art de vibrer de toutes ses cordes (Éditions du Roseau, 2007).

Marie-Joelle Tremblay directrice générale de Kina8at

Marie-Joelle Tremblay

Executive Director

Marie-Joelle joined our team in 2019. During the previous years, she has been the Executive Director of the Champboisé Retreat Center in Outaouais. Previously, for nearly a decade, she was a team supervisor and life and business insurance specialist for The Co-operators group. The management skills she developed there are extremely useful today for Kina8at, both for managing our operations and developing new projects, as well as for the supervision of our teams.


Marie-Joelle is also passionate about human beings and their health. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Anatomy and Cell Biology from McGill University and has completed a naturopathic training, as well as psychology studies. Marie-Joelle considers that we are all called to walk on a path of healing and reconciliation; a path that can be done with pleasure and joy. That's why she feels so close to our mission.

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Finances and Projects Manager

For nearly 30 years, Jocelyne has worked in the information technology field. She held high responsibility functions in major companies both in Canada and United States.

More than ten years ago, however, life challenged her : she had to become a caregiver to her husband who had lost the use of his kidneys. Thanks to technology and science, he received a kidney transplant, but this long hardship marked a turning point in her life at all levels.

Living with disease every day sparked in Jocelyne a growing interest in holistic health approaches and art therapy. Her artistic talents (oil, acrylic, watercolor, as well as beading, moccasins-making and other Indigenous Arts) are also part of the workshops she offers.


In 2012, Jocelyne met with Chomis T8aminik. Since then she followed his teachings and to her surprise, she was chosen as one of his students to represent our traditions. In 2015, she received a sacred Pipe from the Elders as a token of her commitment to Algonquin Traditional Medicine.


Annie Cadieux

Administrative assistant

Annie has been working in the field of customer service for 18 years. She has a great deal of experience in administration, web marketing and market development as well as in global wellness. She has a creative talent that makes everything she does beautiful.


She also has a great family spirit as she comes from a large family of 8 children where mutual aid, communication, open-mindedness, gathering and sharing are part of her daily life.  Annie has a very big heart and is always ready to help others. That's why she fits in so well with Kina8at!

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Caretaker of the Kina8at Center

Julio grew up in Mexico and has been living in Quebec for the past ten years. After completing his university studies in physical culture and sports, as well as in pedagogy, he worked for a long time as a sports or children's animator and coach. If he also offered his services in the restaurant business, it was often for social organizations, where his kindness and open-mindedness are recognized.


For him, work well done, nature, sharing and hospitality are important values. With his recently completed training in adventure tourism, we understood that Julio had all the assets to join our team and take good care of our visitors and our place in the forest.

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